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Drama Original recording remastered, Original recording reissued

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Far and away the longest lasting and the most successful of the '70s progressive rock groups, Yes proved to be one of the lingering success stories from that musical genre. The band, founded in 1968, overcame a generational shift in its audience and the departure of its most visible members at key points in its history to reach the end of the century as the definitive progressive rock ... Read more in Amazon's Yes Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Drama + Tormato + Going for the One
Price For All Three: £21.41

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Product details

  • Audio CD (17 Oct. 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Original recording reissued
  • Label: Atlantic
  • ASIN: B000002J23
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,898 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Machine Messiah10:27Album Only
Listen  2. Man In A White Car 1:21£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Does It Really Happen 6:35£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Into The Lens 8:32£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Run Through The Light 4:42£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Tempus Fugit 5:21£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description


Shorn of Jon Anderson's touchy-feely New Age sensibilities and Rick Wakeman's camp, operatic flourishes, this incarnation of Yes were a leaner, meaner machine altogether. Drama (1980) was the last Yes album and last line-up change before their split and subsequent resurrection as a bland transatlantic MOR outfit (remember 90125 and "Owner Of A Lonely Heart"?). New singer Trevor Horn brings to the party both fellow ex-Buggle Geoff Downes on keyboards and--equally important--his extraordinary talent as a producer. The album remains a model of recording clarity: every note, every carefully honed nuance is captured in clinical detail. And that's exactly why Drama has sometimes been written off as uninvolving. In truth, it's a muso's album par excellence: marvel at the shifting time signatures, gasp at the dizzying key changes, thrill as intertwining instruments weave ever more complex tapestries of sound. It's that kind of album. Maybe emotionally it leaves many listeners high and dry, but as a masterclass in virtuoso rock musicianship it's thrilling. --Mark Walker

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Stotty on 6 Aug. 2007
Format: Audio CD
While writing the follow up to 1978's Tormato, singer Jon Anderson and keyboardist, Rick Wakeman left the group.
This lineup of Yes is definitely the most controversial in the bands history. Combining the musical talents of Steve Howe, Chris Squire and Alan White with those of The Buggles (video killed the radio star anyone?) seemed a disasterous one. However, they got away with it and Drama stands for me as one of Yes' best efforts, despite being a somewhat neglected record.
OK Trevor Horn could never replace Jon Anderson on vocals, and most of the songs are crying out for his angelic tones. But there's a charm and sincerity about Horn's vocal style, and with Chris Squires distinctive backing vocal to supplement him, as well as Steve Howe mucking in, the vocal side of Drama is quite alright.
Geoff Downes is a revelation on keyboards, and he handles the 'widdly widdly' stuff excellently while throwing his own keyboarding style into the mix. It's no surprise that he would continue to work with Steve Howe on this type of music in the incredibly successful Asia.
As for Steve Howe, he plays some of his heaviest, most aggressive sounding guitar since 1974's Relayer, and the Chris Squire/Alan White rhythm section seems re energised and more driving than before.
The songs on Drama are first class. 'Machine Messiah' is a huge, moody behemoth of an opener with some superb melodies, great vocal harmonies, swirling keyboards and heavy metal guitar, hammered home with some great rolling bass, and thumping drums.
'White Car' is a beautifully sung track, but suffers from being a short song which ends almost as soon as it's begun.
'Does It Really Happen' is a pointer to the more commercial sounding music Yes would make in the 1980s.
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 25 Feb. 2004
Format: Audio CD
Reading again and again how this recording is derided by comparing it to Anderson-era-Yes is particularly depressing, since this is a hell of a record in its own terms. Nobody seemed to like it when it appeared, while now more and more people realize how unjustly Drama was treated at the time. "Machine Messiah" and "Tempus Fugit" are sensational tracks. The rest is simply very good. Chris Squire's bass playing and Alan White's drumming in this CD are simply astounding. Yes, Jon Anderson is not there, but just listen to this music for what it is, without prejudice, and what you get is one of the prog-classics of all time.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By N. ADAMS on 3 April 2006
Format: Audio CD
Drama is a surprising album. Surprising because it unites one half of the "classic" Yes line up (Steve Howe, Alan White, Chris Squire) with 80's pop duo, "The Buggles" (Trevor Horn, Geoff Downes). On the face of it not the most likely of partnerships and one that for Yes fans would seem doomed to fail since this particular inacrnation of the band was less its principle songwriter and singer, Jon Anderson.
In their 70's heyday, Yes produced sprawling Prog-Rock epics that went under ungainly titles such as "The Revealing Science of God" or "The Gates of Delerium". But by the early 80's, Yes and other bands of their ilk were a spent force in musical terms; having the metaphoricals kicked out of them by the aggression and nihilism of Punk.
The Buggles at the time, however, were flush with the success of their Top 5 hit "Video Killed the Radio Star" a song which seemed to signal a fresh and succesful decade for pop and the new art form of the music video.
So in some ways The Buggles had more to lose than the remaining members of Yes by chancing their arms on this collabrative venture. But Sqiure et al still had their reputations as superlative musicians to think about and there was no way that this album was ever going to be compromise on that front. The resulting album was not therefore a curious pop-rock record but still an unashamedly prog one.
Hovever, the playing is less frilly and the presentation less wayward, benefting from the directness Horn and Downes were giving them. Although Horn's vocals don't come anywhere near to Jon Anderson's range and delicacy he manages to more than hold his own in what must been a very daunting situation to find himself in.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By K. O'Leary on 20 Sept. 2008
Format: Audio CD
I have been a Yes fan since the seventies, but was put off investigating Drama all the way up to the year 2000. The reason being, as many may guess, is that this is the only Yes album with no contribution from Jon Anderson, who not only has a very distinctive voice (not liked by everyone), but is also a big song/music writer for the group. The idea that he could be replaced (along with Wakeman) by members of the Buggles was frankly unthinkable.

How wrong I was. For a start, Trevor Horn's voice is actually very good - he has a similar tone to Anderson, but more nasal and earthy. Downes can play as well, there is some great interplay between himself and Squire on the first track "Machine Messiah". And while we're on the subject of Squire, I think this album has some of his best Bass riffs ever - his intro for "Does it really Happen?" is epic. "Into the Lens" is another highlight, with many strangely timed sections and a catchy chorus. "Tempus Fugit" is also a great track, although the "Yes!" lyrics are a little grating (no more than Jon's were sometimes though). In fact, there are no weak tracks on this album at all. It doesn't quite attain the creative peaks of the classic Yes albums, but it is better than Tormato and all of that "Yeswest" AOR nonsense that followed.

I would have really liked to hear another album from this line-up, the songs may be shorter, but it is %100 Prog. If you like Yes, you must buy it - it's an essential purchase. If you like the sound of Yes but not Anderson's Choir-boy noodlings, you may also enjoy it.
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